Starting a website can be fun and exciting. You get to run your own online business, promote it online and probably even make passive income in the long run. But before you rush in and buy a website, hire a developer or build one yourself, we’ve weighed all 3 options so you can start your project right.
Hiring a Developer
If you don’t want to learn web development and don’t fancy tinkering with free website builders, hiring a developer is what comes to mind. A professional web developer has the expertise and experience to turn your ideas into reality within a relative short timeframe. However, working with a developer can also create new challenged, such as the communication with your developer or unexpected delays.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of hiring a professional web developer to build your website.
No learning curve: when you work with a professional, they probably have many years of experience building web sites and developing applications. Because of this, your developer can easily estimate the amount of work involved and knows what tools to use.
If you’re not ready to adjust your goals many times over and embrace the learning process, hiring a developer might be a good option. Learning how to build a website while also trying to make the perfect website will be challenging, especially if you have very specific wishes.
Revisions and support: think something is missing? Want to change the layout? No need to invest another 3 week into reading web articles and watching how-to videos. Your developer can take care of minor changes within a short period of time.
No stress: even if you’re good at building sites, if you don’t enjoy it, you shouldn’t do it.
Cost: believe it or not, but web developers need money too. Web development and web design are extremely competitive fields, especially with many third-world developers offering bottom prices. But as always, real quality doesn’t come cheap.
When you hire a developer, make sure the deliverables are properly defined beforehand so there can’t be any misunderstanding about what’s included and what isn’t.
Communication: having problems communicating with your developer can be problematic. A developer who disappears halfway through the project can be pretty discouraging.
Freelancer platforms such as Upwork.com offer a quick insight into a freelancer’s work history and testimonials from previous employers. This can help you weed out the unreliable freelancers quickly.
Doing it yourself:
If you just want a simple website and don’t mind spending a few hours (or days) learning, doing it yourself might be your best choice. Tools like Wix.com and SquareSpace make building a simple website a breeze. For even more flexibility, give WordPress a try.
It’s cheap: when you decide to build your own website, your cost will be much lower compared to hiring a developer. Tools like Wix.com and WordPress are free to use and come with extensive online documentation and community support. Platforms such as Shopify and SquareSpace are paid but offer more extensive ready-made options, like ecommerce and user management.
You learn: unless you intend to always outsource future web development and design work, learning how a website works can be quite useful. Even if you end up outsourcing this in the future, understanding the mechanics of it can help you better understand issues and instruct your tech guys later on.
It can get complicated: the more features you want, the more complicated it gets. Trying to build advanced sites like a SaaS or subscription dropshipping can be difficult. Free tools like WordPress can become expensive once you need paid plugins to implement complicated functions. The same applies to Shopify and other platforms.
It costs time: you know how it goes. What you think will be done in 3 hours takes 3 days and your 2 week deadline starts to look like 2 months. Once you’ve invested a lot of time in your project, you’re probably more reluctant to outsource because you’ve grown attached to the project. Outsourcing a half-finished project will probably cost the same as a website from scratch.
Buying a Ready-made website:
Another affordable option is to simply buy a ready-made website. Although this is not a custom option, it is the quickest way to get started running an online business without any of the hassle.
It’s turnkey: as the name indicates, ready-made websites are already built. They require little upkeep and usually only one or two changes are needed after you buy, such as adding your PayPal address to receive payments through the site.
Set up and support: ready-made websites come with set-up and support so you don’t have to worry about anything. The site is ready to go and support is usually handled by the same person who built the site.
It’s not custom: while the other 2 options are all custom, a ready-made website is not. If you have very specific ideas about what your online business should look like, a ready-made website may not be for you.
Unreliable seller: if you buy through a marketplace such as Flippa, you will be dealing with a seller directly. This is helpful, only if the seller is unresponsive and you’re stuck with some issue, you may need to hire a developer or expert to look at it for you, which increases costs.
Which option is right for you? There’s no single right answer to this question. Because of this, you should choose an option that feels right for you and aligns best with your online business goals. On a budget and got time to learn? Build it yourself. Got an appropriate budget and very specific goals? Maybe you should hire one or more developers to help you build it. Want to get started right away with a ready-made website? Then that might be for you.
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